Thomas Paine was an influential philosopher and writer from the Revolutionary Era. Born in England, but moved to America in 1774, T-Paine advocated (favored) the United States declaring its independence from England. His pamphlet, Common Sense , was read widely in America and helped encourage many Americans to want to declare independence from Britain. Why is T-Paine important to APUSH students? He believed it was Common Sense to break away. This writing played a prominent role in the American Revolution and helped lead to the writing of the Declaration of Independence.